Hibernation Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hibernation AleHibernation Ale

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2,483 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,483
Reviews: 1,086
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 111
Gots: 193 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,483 | Reviews: 1,086 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Likeburning
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville North Carolina, this holiday beer poured a rich deep red color with a off-white to light tan colored creamy head. Light toasty malt aromas waft up from the slowly dissipating head. The lacing on the glass is a little thinner than expected, but nothing to complain about. The aftertaste is a little... ashy? though, but overall a good winter ale.

Photo of Morbo
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with bright red highlights around the edges and about an inch of beige head that doesn't stick around for very long. There is very little lacing, but I'm going to attribute that to a poorly washed glass.

There is a lot going on in the nose. Sweet roasted malts upfront with chocolate, coffee, figs, and a hint of floral hops underneath. As it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent.

As with the nose, roasted malts take center stage, joined by caramel sweetness. Dried fruits and bitter chocolate are also present, and earthy hops and smoke dominate the lingering finish.

The medium body and low carbonation contribute a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel but quickly gives way to a long, dry, bitter finish. Alcohol is present but not at all aggressive and gives a pleasant warming effect.

This is a very enjoyable beer, but a single bottle is enough for the night. The other five bottles are going straight to the cellar and I have pretty high expectations for them.

Photo of waltonc
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle from Colorado Liquor Mart. Pours clear amber. Not a very strong smell, but some malts and floral notes. Tastes very malty, again with the floral characteristics, somewhat sweet, and a fair amount of hops. Mouthfeel is medium to thick body and carbonation. Not an overpowering beer, which makes this more drinkable than some other old ales.

Photo of UDbeernut
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brew Kettle in Strongsville, poured into pint glass

a: pours a dark amber, some what translucent

s: roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate

t: roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate, light hop profile.

m&d: medium body with decent carbonation. good drinkability

A good beer.


Photo of RickSawyer
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark chocolate espresso with an off white creamy head that crowns with large bubbles. Smells full! Notes of whole wheat bread, burnt caramel, strawberries, a faint citrus note. Very sweet! Taste follows with fresh berries, molasses, a bit of spiced citrus, some toast and burnt marsh mellow. Mouthfeel is full and allows the taste to linger. Very nice old ale, a bit roastier than I am used to but SOLID for these fridged 55 degree South East Texas nights.

Photo of robbyc1
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber with a nice 1 finger light tan head.

Nose is roasty and malty, like a good dark beer.

Taste has strong chocolate malt, no alcohol sign, not as strong as most old ales, but nice. Some thickness, good body, nicely balanced, finish is just a bit sweet.

Fullness combined with good carbonation and nice lacing.

Easy drinker, maybe too easy for the style, but a good winter keeper.

Update Jan 09, upped the appearance score, lovely, lowered the drinkability, a bit heavy to get through but nice, as for the taste including the nice chocolate, it has a strong rough barley malt backbone just right to back the chocolate, and the end is well balanced not sweet, enjoyable for sure.

Photo of JDK
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a nice clear amber color with a 1 finger head.
Light lacing
Medium mouthfeel
Very nice smell of cloves and hops with a touch of malt
The taste has more hops than most of the other winter brews I've had, but very good. Nice blend of malts, spices and the tart taste of hops.
Definately worth a try

Photo of avalon07
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish-brown color and a somewhat clear consistency. There was a half inch of head and good lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and some coffee.

T: Flavored with roasted malt, mild hops going down and some coffee and chocolate. Not as complex as I would've thought.

M: A fairly well carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It's not my favorite Great Divide product, but it's not bad either.

Photo of NoLiberty
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a beautiful deep copper red color. Very clear with an active rumbling head that settles into a solid white cap with high evenly distributed lacing. Carbonation is low but soft when agitated.

Really nice nose, strong and well balanced. Almost reminds me of a hoppy barleywine nose, particularly Big Foot. All types of malt character: biscuit, warming alcohol, dried raisins, plum, floral hops, all wrapped up into a sweet candy flavor. Very good.

Great flavor as well. Starts malty sweet with strong dried fruit flavors, followed by a vinous sweet tang, subtle hop spice and finishes relatively dry with hop aftertaste and an earthy, smoky finish. The lingering aftertaste isn't ideal but the overall experience i very well balanced, complex, and warming from all around.

Mouthfeel is full, medium bodied and nice carbonation. More carb than I'd expect based on what it looks like but good. I could definitely drink a couple of these. The alcohol is high but it never really dominates and the flavors bring continuous interest in the beer. Good stuff.

Photo of hero27
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle
8.1% abv

Very dark reddish-amber...clingy head of tan foam.
Heavy, sweet malt flavor from the onset...stereotypical of the style. Roasted malts, chocolate, and a conglomerate of dark fruits.. Sticky texture, massive body..drinkability is on-par for the style, but nothing that's really above & beyond. Alcohol is perceived, but acceptable for an 8+% brew. I enjoyed this one for sure, but this is certainly not one that forced me to pay attention to it like some other Great Divide brews do.

Photo of tburkhart
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to chefnash51 for this one.

Pours a very dark ruby / light brown with a very thin layer of head across the top and decent lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

Smells of malts. Slightly roasty/nutty/burnt.

Tastes roasty with a very nice mouthfeel to it. Sticks around the palate just long enough to remind you it's there.

Photo of HatTrick
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice burgandy / copper color with small bubbles. Looks really nice. My pour had very little head and no lacing.

Smell: Carmels, hops.

Taste: A bit more hops than I like, especially in an English malt. Not too bad but not for me.

Mouthfeel: Light, mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty easy. Lives a strong hop aftertaste.

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man Tavern in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brown color with a slight off-white head. What little head there is dissipates quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. There's not much lacing.

Smells of caramel malts up front with chocolate aromas coming through as the beer warms. I also smell a very small hint of spices.

Tastes good. Caramel malt flavors that give way to light chocolate. There's a bit of roasted malt that comes through at the finish to go with a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and subtle carbonation does its job.

Drinkability is good. I only had one of these but at the ABV it's a very easy drinker.

Overall this is another beer that doesn't disappoint from Great Divide, be sure to give this one a shot if you see it around.

Photo of beernut
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark copper colrwith a small white bubbly head that quickly fades. Aroma is a sweet caramel malt. Taste is rich with a caramel malt followed by a nice hop balance. Decent carbonation, somewhat of heavy aftertaste, but manageable. A very good beer for a cold winters' nite.

Photo of bort11
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. Tall two finger head the color of egg cream. Slow to recede and leaves a full cap on the surface. Spots of lacing ring the glass. Color is dark, but clear garnet red.

Smell has a mild smokey and peat aroma. Bit of mint and sweet brown sugar. Taste is quite the malt bomb. Creamy sweet ginger snap. Dry hopping keeps a nice balance.

Super creamy mouthfeel. It is filling, but not overly so. Very easy to drink and the ABV is deceptive.

Photo of morimech
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color with a small tan head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The smell is sweet and malty. Alcohol is very much evident in the smell and taste. Nice caramel flavor before the alcohol takes over on the finish leaving a warming effect. Bitterness is very low. Medium body with low carbonation. A nice ale. One of these will be all I would want to drink in a session.

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Judge's Bench the other day.

The beer pours a dark copper color with fairly good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get some sweet cherry, coupled with a lot of roasty malt. There is also some underlying citrus, but this smells as if it will be pretty sweet and malty. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, though there is some underlying spice and noticeable alcohol as well. I also get some chocolate interwound with the cherry flavor. This beer is exactly what I think of when it comes to a Winter warmer, with lots of malt, plenty of flavor and warming alcohol. The beer has a medium to full mouthfeel, and it finishes well. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol, which detracts a bit from the drinkability, but I pretty much expected that.

A good beer, but hard to imagine downing more then one of these at a sitting.

Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber pour with a lasting cream colored head. Quite fragrant with red fruits, piney hops and some malt. Fairly lively mouthfeel. Some malt, bread, raisin with a little pine. Flavors open up nicely as this warms. Faint red fruits but not tart at all. A solid amount of hop character balancing well throughout. More than usual hops for an old ale. Rather crisp and clean. Dangerously drinkable for 8%. Will be curious to see this one age a bit.

Photo of MerkinMan
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice red hue with a good head. A nice surprise. When a bottle just says "ale" you never know . . .

S: MALTY! Yeah. I smell some hops hiding behind there, but I am ready for a malt driven beer here.

T: Damn toasty. I think I am quite in love with this one with one sip. The hops take their time to show up, which is nice. Once the malt sweetness fades, the hops dry the mouth out nicely for the next sip.

MF: Rich Velvety Body

D: Probably not many more than one of these. Rich and decadent.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Over-sized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Dark ruby tinged amber liquid. Decent head which has good retention and some pretty good lacing.

Big, dark roasted coffee hits first. Strong, sweet maltiness follows. Hints of chocolate ice cream. Slight vanilla caramel notes. Good dark fruit presence. Tobacco notes.
Nose is quite complex and inviting.

Like a chocolate coffee malt. Hefty roasted malt backbone. Sweet caramel/brown sugar notes. Hints of espresso. Nice dark fruit presence, here. Good yeast presence. Slight oakiness.

Very nice and silky smooth. Great carbonation level.

Tasty, tasty, and quite drinkable. Many more of these shall be consumed, now that they are readily available to me.

Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle bought online from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam...

Poured a dark mahogany red colour with a slight haze. Creamy tan head poured tight thick and foamy then faded quite slowly to decent covering.. no carbonation... some thickish lacing lines...

Aroma - Lots of dark spicy dried fruits (raisins, figs, dates) mixed with toasted malty bread, lots of strong grassy and pine hops, nut brown / burnt butter notes, toasted nuts, hint of tobacco, treacle sweetness, hints of overripe / rotten fruits (apples and pears)... reminded me a little of SN Bigfoot...

Taste - Lots of peppery and piney hop bitterness (a little harsh ?) mixed with toasted bready malts, bitter chocolate notes, quite grassy, definite smokey tobacco traces, very nutty, rich alcohol soaked fruits (dates, figs, bitter oranges), burnt brown sugar sweetness, light oakiness...

M&D - Fairly rich and smooth with a little sharpness coming through... medium / full bodied... a bit on the strong side at 8.10% to be very drinkable...

Overall - A pretty good and very American take on an Old Ale... definitely worth a try...

Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar-cool 12-ounce bottle poured into a large tulip glass yields a rich, crystalline reddish-copper body capped with a creamy finger of fine-bubbled pale ecru foam. The head recedes soon after the pour, it's remnants languishing atop the drink in a large-bubbled mass that leaves behind quite a bit of soap-bubble lacing.

The smell is zingy and fruity with fresh apples, juicy plums, light caramel, and a hefty dose of floral, lightly citrusy hops. Succulent toasted malts underlay the fruity sweetness, providing a savory heft to the aroma.

The taste is darkly malty and sweetly fruity with a splash of warm, dark caramel and a thin, proportional, almost cocoa-like bitterness. Juicy notes of black plums, golden raisins, and a bit of mellow citrus arrive mid-drink, and a dusty, sandpaper-dry finish encourages the drinker to have another sip, and right quickly, too.

The drink is sliky-smooth and on the heftier end of the spectrum, but the mild and wonderful flavor profile makes Great Divide's Hibernation Ale extremeley drinkable for the style and the burly 8.1% abv.

Photo of robg2251
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a really nice deep amber color with a nice one finger creamy colored head. I could smell the creamy malts and hops as I poured this.
I smell hints of creamy chocolate, roasted, toffee right up front. I also get some hop hints in there too.
The mouth feel is crisp yet thick with higher carbonation. The taste is a very malty chocolate, almost tootsie roll flavor with a bit of a hop bitter bite to it, but definitely not a huge one. The after taste leaves a smokey roasted flavor in my mouth.
This beer is really good. Rich, but definitely one I could enjoy a few of. I could probably go on and on about the amazing taste. Mostly I just want to get done typing this so I can sit back and enjoy the rest of this thing. Definitely an amazing beer. This tops out at 8.1%, but the higher alcohol isn't too upfront. It is definitely a sipping beer, but after you taste it, you'll see why.. you'll want to saver the complexity going on here. Ok, enough - of to enjoy the rest of this thing!

Photo of kinger
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

05 edition, this is a mighty fine Old Ale/Strong Ale that drinks like a Barleywine. Thick amber pour with an initial fluffy head that dwindles to a nice film that leaves a lot of lacing. Hearty aroma, slight alcohol tinge to the nose. Heavy maltiness with an equally heavy hop scent roasted malts and floral hops. Not too thick on the palate, this is a relatively easy drink considering the potency of this brew. Flavor is intense and wonderful. Thick dark malts of caramel and coffee along with some bitter cocoa. Thick hops, rather floral with a resinous bitterness. Oh boy this is spectacular, very enjoyable on a blustery windy Friday night.

Photo of BarryNL
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in the glass, but ruby red when held to the light. Also, holding it to the light reveals a certain amount of haziness and particulate matter. Rich off-white, clingy and tight head.

S: Dominated by the hops, with a slight sweet note coming through underneath. I'm not sure what hops are used here, it doesn't really smell like the citrusy Cascade - almost a more soapy hop.

T: Hop dominates the taste too, but there are some nice malty undertones and a strong alcohol presence - more so than you would expect from the 8.1% on the label. Fortunately, there are enough balancing flavours that the alcohol is warming rather than burning.

M: Smooth and rich. A velvety experience.

D: The hops and alcohol are a little overpowering, but it's an ale to sip by the fire over the winter, not a summer thirst quencher so it's drinkable enough for the style.

I'm not really sure whether this ought to be classified as an English Style Old Ale - the hops are too dominant for that and, if I was being really strict, I would have to score it fairly low for being off style - it certainly wouldn't do well in a homebrew competition! However, it is a very good ale and a good argument for the creation of an American Style Old Ale category!

Hibernation Ale from Great Divide Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,483 ratings.